Ta’Amu, Jordan

TNT XFL 2023 Custom

CARDS: Topps XFL 2020 GREEN 43/99, Topps XFL 2020 Stars of the Future, Topps NOW 2020 2.16.20, Topps NOW 2020 2.9.20, TNT XFL 2023
ACQUIRED: In Person, 2023 San Antonio Brahmas v Washington Defenders. IP, 2024 San Antonio Brahmas v Washington Defenders.
FAILURE: TTM 2020, C/o The Kansas City Chiefs

CAREER SNAPSHOT:

  • Jordan Ta’Amu played college ball for Ole Miss from 2017-’18.
  • In 2 years he was 381/591 for 5,600 yards, 30 TDs and 12 picks.
  • Based on his limited resume at QB he went unselected in the 2019 NFL Draft.
  • He was a camp arm for the Texans that year for roughly the month of August.
  • Afterwards he decided to try his hand in the XFL in 2020 and was selected by the St. Louis Battlehawks.
  • He had an exceptional start to his season, showing poise with his arm and opportunistic legs, but before he could finish his season, the XFL ended due to COVID.
  • Signed with the Chiefs in April of ’20, and was a member of the practice squad through October.
  • Joined the Lions PS, but was resigned to the Chiefs in ’21 through a futures contract.
  • Jordan had cups of coffee with the Lions (again), Redskins, and Panthers, before landing with the Tampa Bay Bandits of the USFL in 2022.
  • He finished as the league’s leader in passing yards (2,014) and TDs (14).
  • Ta’amu joined the XFL23 as a member of the DC Defenders.
  • He’d lead the team to the XFL Championship game, throwing for 1,894 yards and 14 TDs.
  • In August of 2023, he’d again be brought in briefly- this time by the Minnesota Vikings.
  • As a late addition, Jordan returned to the Defenders for the 2024 season.
  • He finished with 1,846 yards passing, and 15 TDs- both ranking second in the UFL.

ACCOLADES:

  • XFL Offensive Player of the Year 2023
  • All-XFL 2023

NOTES:

Before the game I had spotted the Ta’Amu family wearing matching jerseys. I keyed in on them figuring that they’d know where to go to be able to get close enough to get his autograph. After the game the Defenders were lingering after their victory so I wandered over to their side and picked up an autograph from Santos Ramirez. The gatekeepers of the Alamodome were getting more aggressive about telling me to leave but I ignored them as long as possible. Santos was shocked he had a card so I gambled he wouldn’t mind slipping over to get Jordan on his base card.

After I secured the autograph much to Santos’ credit, I went outside and found the team busses. His family was waiting outside there and told me that he wouldn’t have a problem signing the rest of my cards if I just hung out long enough. We talked about his career and they told me that he’d hoped to have played closer to Texas than Washington but he was happy to be playing. They all admired his limited print Topps XFL NOW 2020 cards- and when he came out he said hello to them and he signed the remaining cards including an additional one I gifted to my friend Mark- of Mark’s Signing Bonus. A big win for me as Ta’Amu doesn’t sign TTM.

In 2024, the Brahmas first game was against the Defenders at home. I printed out my custom XFL card and was able to get him to sign it before the game started. It was I think the only one I got signed that day, and although disappointed with the lack of a haul I got, I was happy with getting this one gem.

If I’m very lucky maybe I’ll pick up that final short run Topps NOW XFL 2023 (#22) card of him and get him to sign that too but it’s been on and off the market so many times, I’ve forgotten to purchase it.

Smith, David (RB)

Wild Card World League 1992, #146

CARD: Wild Card World League 1992
ACQUIRED: EBay, 2023

CAREER SNAPSHOT:

  • As a Junior for Western Kentucky, David Smith rushed for 625 yards and 5 TDs.
  • Selected in the 8th round of the 1988 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles.
  • In 1990, played for the Pittsburgh Gladiators of the Arena Football League.
  • Joined the Monarchs of the WLAF in 1991 and played with team through 1992.
  • Scored the league’s first TD in a win against the Frankfurt Galaxy.
  • Finished season as the team’s second leading rusher with 302 yards on 84 carries, while adding 6 rushing TDs.
  • Returned to the Arena league after the World League reorganized, playing for the Cincinnati Rockers in 1992.
  • Continued one year stints playing forthe Tampa Bay Storm in ’93, the Massachusetts Marauders in ’94, and the Charlotte Rage in 1995.

NOTES:

I had been desperately looking for David for the last 13 years or so. The challenge lied in his name, which is one of the most common ones in the United States. I was able to locate this on Ebay and after negotiating with the seller, went ahead and pulled the trigger on this card, leaving me with just needing his Ultimate card. I doubt seriously anyone would fake this autograph since David is so obscure.

RUSHYDSAVGTDLG
1452192.922N/a
Arena
RECYDSAVGTDLG
1819110.60N/a
RUSHYDSAVGTDLG
943213.4628t
WL
RECYDSAVGTDLG
2199.5020

Wilder Sr., James

Proset 1989, #420

CARD: Proset 1989
ACQUIRED: Paid Signing, 2023
FAILURE: TTM 2010, C/o Home

CAREER SNAPSHOT:

  • At the end of his time at Missou, James Wilder was the school’s all-time leading rusher with 2,357 yards.
  • A second round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1982.
  • Slotted into the lineup as a FB.
  • Impressed coaches so much he took over starting duties at RB in 1984.
  • Set NFL single game record (since broken) rushing 42 times against Pittsburgh in 1984.
  • He carried the ball a whopping 407 times for 1577 yards and 13 TDs.
  • His 2229 total yards were only 19 yards off the combined rushing receiving single season record.
  • By the end of that season- his 4th- Wilder had passed Ricky Bell to become the franchise’s all-time leading rusher.
  • Wilder was ahead of his time, as not only was he a great runner, but he was an extremely talented receiver as well, catching 85 passes that year.
  • In 1985, Wilder had another solid season, posting 1300 yards rushing on 365 carries and 10 TDs.
  • James never eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark again over his career.
  • While this could’ve been attributed to injuries or a conversion back to FB is not known, as the backfield became quite crowded.
  • The Bucs traded James to Detroit in exchange for Eric WIliams in 1990.
  • At the time of his departure, Wilder owned nearly every rushing franchise record and even the team’s record for receptions.
  • He played the majority of the season with the Lions, before finishing his career on the roster of the Redskins that year.

ACCOLADES:

  • Pro Bowl 1984

NOTES:

Finally! I absolutely adore this card and have wanted to get it signed by James for some time. James embodied the creamsickle orange to me. The autograph is just as good! It’s strong, the color is superb, and the placement is perfect.

I love my RBs and Wilder had a very interesting NFL career to me. I considered also sending his Score Supplemental 1990 in his Lions uniform, or his Score 1989 card, but since I had failed on him 10 years ago, never restocked on his cards.

RUSHYDSAVGTDLG
158660083.83775t
RECYDSAVGTDLG
43135008.11050

Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.